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Determination of parameters for hypervelocity dust grains encountered in near-Earth spacePrimarily interest was in the determination of the population of micrometeoroids and space debris and interpretation of the hole size in a thin film or in a micropore foam returned from space with theoretical calculations describing the event. In order to augment the significance of the theoretical calculations of the impact event, an experiment designed to analyze the charge production due to hypervelocity impacts on thin films also produced data which described the penetration properties of micron and sub-micron sized projectiles. The thin film penetration sites in the 500 A and 1000 A aluminum films were counted and a size distribution function was derived. In the case of the very smallest dust grains, there were no independent measurements of velocities like that which existed for the larger dust grains (d(sub p) is less than or equal to 1 micron). The primary task then became to assess the relationship between the penetration hole and the particle diameter of the projectile which made the hole. The most promising means to assess the measure of the diameters of impacting grains came in the form of comparing cratering mechanics to penetration mechanics. Future experimentation will produce measurements of the cratering as opposed to the penetrating event. Particles encountered by surfaces while being flown in space will degrade that surface in a systematic manner even when the impact is with small hypervelocity particles, d(sub p) is less than or equal to 10 microns. Though not to a degree which would precipitate a catastrophic failure of a system, the degradation of the materials comprising the interconnected system will occur. It is the degradation of the optical system and the subsequent embrittlement of other materials that can lead to degradation if not to failure. It is to this end that research was conducted to compare the primary consequences for experiments which will be flown to those which have been returned.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tanner, William G. (Baylor Univ. Waco, TX, United States)
Maag, Carl R. (Science Applications International Corp. Glendora, CA., United States)
Alexander, W. Merle (Baylor Univ. Waco, TX, United States)
Sappenfield, Patricia (Baylor Univ. Waco, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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